Move prompts doubts over future of Frank Gehry-designed museum

A key construction contract for the Frank Gehry-designed Abu Dhabi Guggenheim museum has been pulled, prompting speculation about the future of the project.

The state-owned Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) has recalled a tender for concrete works at the museum.

A statement from the company stressed that the work would be retendered but declined to provide reasons for pulling the contract.

“Due to a review of its project procurement strategy, TDIC has recalled the concrete works tender of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi museum,” it said.

“The work, which forms part of the multiple work contracts that make up this project, will be retendered at a future date.”

TDIC said several construction stages have been completed, including land reclamation and foundations.

“The art collection continues to grow and a series of focus groups with international experts are taking place to discuss areas related to the development of the future museum’s curatorial and educational programming,” it added.

Earlier this year, more than 130 artists threatened to boycott the Abu Dhabi museum because of concerns about working conditions at the site.